Do you have small, twisted veins on your calves? Do you have discolored skin caused by disordered veins in your lower legs? If so, there is a chance that you have spider veins (telangiectasias) on your legs. At Reno Sparks MedSpa in Reno, NV, we offer several effective treatment methods for telangiectasias. Today, we’re looking at what causes this condition, what can be done to treat it, and more. Let’s get started.
What Causes Spider Veins on Your Legs?
There are several potential causes of spider veins on your legs. Among the most common causes of telangiectasias is pregnancy, chronic sun damage, the natural aging process, and genetics. Pregnancy can lead to the development of telangiectasias because most pregnancies are accompanied by weight gain. Most of this weight gain occurs above the lower legs. Therefore, the superficial veins in the lower legs are put under far more pressure.
Compounding the issue, pregnant women experience increased blood volume. With extra blood volume comes extra pressure from within the blood vessels in addition to the extra weight above the veins exerting pressure from the outside.
How Does Sun Damage Cause Telangiectasias?
Chronic sun damage significantly increases your risk of developing telangiectasias on your legs because the sun’s UV rays destroy the collagen in the foundational layer of the skin. Even worse, these harmful rays slow your skin’s ability to produce more collagen. Furthermore, chronic UV ray damage can lead to the breakdown of superficial blood vessels.
Note, if you have fair skin or a family history of skin cancer, it is of the utmost importance that you apply sunscreen to your legs every day. This is important because the less melanin you have in your skin, the less natural protection you have against UV ray damage.
How Does the Natural Aging Process Cause Telangiectasias?
You can expect to develop a spider vein or two as you age due to one of the inevitable side effects of the aging process, a significant slowdown in the production rate of collagen. Remember, mitigating the risk of collagen loss is why you want to wear sunscreen diligently, regardless of whether you are wearing pants or not or if it is overcast outside or not.
Another reason why you can expect to develop telangiectasias as you age is that the valves’ walls stretch over time. Eventually, this stretching gets to the point that they can no longer completely close. This results in blood pooling at the base of the veins, causing skin discoloration and vein discoloration. Furthermore, the aging process results in a natural metabolism decrease, resulting in weight gain and excess pressure placed on the leg veins.
How Can I Maintain My Weight As I Age?
You can maintain your weight as you age by recognizing when you are gaining weight and adjusting your diet appropriately. Alternatively, you can increase exercise.
What Can I Do To Prevent Telangiectasias?
There is no completely effective way to prevent the development of spider veins. However, there are things you can do to reduce your chance of developing these disordered veins. For example, refraining from the use of topical steroids will reduce the chance of disordered veins developing. You will also reduce your chance of developing disordered veins if you make an effort from keeping your legs from getting extremely hot or extremely cold.
If you develop spider veins in other parts of your body, like your nose or chest, you will need to get those areas treated, too. Then, you will need to make an effort to keep those areas from getting too hot or too cold. Another way you can reduce your chance of developing telangiectasias is to make sure the cleansers you use are mild. In other words, you should avoid body wash that contains fragrances or dyes that may irritate your skin.
How Can This Condition Be Treated?
There are several ways you can treat telangiectasias on your legs, including compression stockings, endovenous laser ablation, and sclerotherapy. Among the factors that affect which treatment method is right for you are the cause of your telangiectasias, the severity of your telangiectasias, and your personal preferences.
Are Compression Stockings Right for Me?
There is a good chance that compression stockings will be considered right for you if your telangiectasias are caused by pregnancy. Due to the temporary nature of pregnancy, it is possible that your disordered veins will heal themselves once you’ve given birth. This is because the external pressure exerted by your fetus and the internal pressure of 50% more blood circulating caused the problem in the first place.
When there is no longer a fetus exerting pressure outside your veins, your circulation may improve significantly. Similarly, you can expect your circulation to improve when there is not a significant amount of excess blood being circulated back to your heart while fighting the constant pressure of gravity. You may find that a few months after giving birth, especially with the support of compression garments, your veins may go back to functioning properly.
Is Endovenous Laser Ablation Right for Me?
If your spider veins are severe and your skin is not photosensitive, there is a good chance that you will be considered a good fit for endovenous laser ablation. This spider vein treatment technique involves inserting a tiny laser fiber into the spider vein through the tiniest of incisions. Note, this incision is not painful at all because your leg is numbed with a local anesthetic before the incision is made. This numbing extends all the way to the burned vein.
Is Sclerotherapy Right for Me?
You may be considered a great candidate for sclerotherapy if your goal is to find a permanent spider vein treatment method that does not involve light therapy. Generally, people who get this treatment are between the ages of 30 and 60, free from any blood clotting disorders, and have not given birth in the past three months. You should also know that you will not qualify for this treatment if you are currently pregnant.
How Does This Treatment Work?
This treatment works in a similar manner to endovenous laser ablation. Before your treatment begins, we will numb the affected leg or legs. This ensures your complete comfort throughout the entire treatment process. Then, we will make a very small incision above the spider vein or veins. Through this incision we will insert a catheter. Then, we will inject the disordered veins with a sclerosant agent through the cannula.
How Long Does This Treatment Take?
Generally, you can expect a sclerotherapy treatment session to take between 15 minutes and half of an hour. However, the number of spider veins you are trying to treat, how disordered they are, how close they are to the surface of the skin, and whether they are in multiple regions of the body.
You can feel confident, though, that your treatment session will not take longer than an hour. We will give you a more accurate idea of how long your session should take once we have evaluated your concerns and discussed your goals thoroughly.
How Quickly Does This Treatment Work?
This treatment works fairly quickly. You can expect with a fair amount of confidence that you will be able to see your final results a mere four to six weeks after your treatment session. Since telangiectasias are smaller than varicose veins, you can expect to need only one treatment session to achieve your desired results.
Furthermore, you can expect your body to break down the destroyed vein tissue quickly. When using sclerotherapy to treat varicose veins, it can take three to four months to see the desired results assuming only one treatment session is required. On the other hand, when used to treat telangiectasias, you may be able to see your desired results in just three to six weeks. If two sessions are required, the second session will be four to six weeks after the first one.
The Bottom Line
There are several potenital causes of spider veins, including genetics, weight, pregnancy, and the aging process. Depending on the severity of the condition, there are several potential treatment methods, including compression stockings, sclerotherapy, and endovenous laser ablation. Generally, compression stockings are considered right for pregnant women. Sclerotherapy and laser therapy are usually more appropriate for others.
To find out which treatment method is right for you, your concerns must be evaluated. Contact us today at Reno Sparks MedSpa in Reno, NV to schedule an appointment.